It’s easy to forget how difficult it is to love oneself. The statistics on the State of Self Esteem paint a sombre portrait: 7 in 10 girls believe that they are inadequate in some capacity, be it through their relationships with others, their academic performance, or their appearance. We’re surrounded by images of unrealistic beauty everywhere we go: polished and filtered Instagram images that show us what we don’t have (thigh gap, we’re looking at you) and who we could never measure up to be (are we ever going to be as funny or as Twitter-savvy as the enigmatic Retta? No).
Remember: you have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé, and even she can’t escape the tyranny of Photoshop. Lines of wisdom and age etched across one of the most celebrated names of the 21st century are smoothed away to oblivion with the meticulous and instantaneous click of a mouse.
It seems like there’s an app for everything. But there isn’t an app that will teach you how to love yourself. Luckily, you can teach yourself how to love yourself. No app. No magic wand. The only thing and person you need is you.
Give yourself an enormous hug, hold on tight, and never let go
- Love yourself with positive affirmations. Wake up and tell yourself that you are beautiful. Say something over the top; something that you can’t resist giving yourself a smile to. Rather than focusing on what you feel inadequate about, congratulate yourself on something that you’re proud about every morning. Even watch cute puppy videos to restore your faith in humanity (yes, that part of YouTube will instantly make your bleak morning a much brighter place)
- Nourish yourself with nutritious food. Eat well. Drink well. Drink water! Never punish yourself for eating poorly. Focus on what you did right, and do even better the next day.
- Immerse yourself in an environment of people who encourage you. Communities like PumpUp are wonderful at doing this! Reach out for help when you need it; loving yourself doesn’t always have to be a lonely journey.
- Compare yourself to nobody. Make each day an opportunity for self-improvement. Congratulate others and support others, but never ever feel inadequate if you aren’t making progress at the same rate as they are. Everybody has different needs, different goals, different bodies, and different circumstances. What makes you unique already makes you beautiful.
- Forgive yourself. The past is in the past; let it go! Your future is uncertain, but it’s brimming with possibilities. Build upon your past, learn from it, and grow stronger. It helped shape who you are today.